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OAS Assistant Secretary General Launches TIC Americas Competition for Young Entrepreneurs

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, opened this Sunday in La Antigua Guatemala the Talent and Innovation Challenges of the Americas (TIC Americas) exposition and final competition for young entrepreneurs, which brought together 32 finalists from the 1,700 that were submitted in the context of the 2013 OAS General Assembly.

Ambassador Ramdin congratulated the young finalists for their projects and because they "represent innovation." "If we want a better, more peaceful and sustainable society we need change and innovation, and you represent that change. You are at the forefront of your societies," he added.

The senior official of the regional institution recalled that "the OAS has paid a high degree of attention to youth for several years, primarily because they represent a majority in our hemisphere. That should be a sign for our governments." Addressing the participants after touring the exhibition of the different projects, he concluded: "I believe in you, I am impressed by you and am very proud of you."

Among the finalists of the TIC Americas competition, selected by an evaluation committee made up of 223 international experts are projects from Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru , Argentina, Guatemala, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. The winners will be announced tomorrow at a ceremony in which the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, is scheduled to participate.

At the opening ceremony today, the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the OAS, Rodrigo Vielmann, highlighted the "impressive proposals" of finalists in the competition, and said that young entrepreneurs "give a true representation of the future of the Americas."

In addition, Ambassador Vielmann recalled that his country promoted that the General Assembly debate on the subject "For a comprehensive policy against the world drug problem in the Americas," and drew a parallel between the work the ministers of the continent have before them and that of the ICT participants." The General Assembly seeks innovative solutions to old problems, and that is exactly what you do with your projects and ideas," he said.

Roy Thomasson, President and founder of YABT, which organizes TIC Americas, noted in particular the role of Ambassador Ramdin in support of the competition since its inception, and encouraged public leaders from across the Americas and private entities to continue supporting the program. "Creating opportunities for youth is something important for all the countries of the hemisphere, from the north to the south," he said.

Gabriela de la Garza, Sustainability Manager at Pepsico Beverages Latin America, the main sponsor of the event, reaffirmed the commitment of his company with the TIC Americas, among other reasons, because "we do not cease to be amazed at the creativity of these projects, which are spectacular."

At the end of the ceremony, the Director of YABT, Luis Viguria, presented a plaque to Ambassador Ramdin in recognition of his support for the TIC Americas.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org

Source: OAS Media Center http://www.oas.org/en/media_center/press_release.asp?sCodigo=E-216/13

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